Stocks mixed…Union vote…Panama Canal Use
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mixed Friday as investors weighed a variety of factors, including alleged attacks on two tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and lingering worries about trade conflict between the U.S. and China. Futures point to U.S. shares drifting lower. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped to just above $52 per barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and strengthened against the euro.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are finishing a vote over whether to unionize. The vote of about 1,700 hourly workers began Wednesday and concludes Friday. A win would offer the United Auto Workers its first fully organized, foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the traditionally anti-union South. Gov. Bill Lee, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and other top Republicans are urging a “no” vote, saying a union could cause economic harm.
PANAMA CITY (AP) – Japan has overtaken China to become the second-biggest user of the Panama Canal amid an escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington. Canal authorities said China’s slip to third is due to decreased shipments of natural and liquid petroleum gas as the Asian giant is buying less of them from the United States.” The United States remains the biggest user of the canal.
BERLIN (AP) – German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer says it plans to invest some 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) over the next decade in developing “additional methods to combat weeds.” Friday’s announcement came as Bayer is engaged in legal battles in the U.S. in which plaintiffs claim that subsidiary Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused cancer. Rulings in three cases have gone against it. Bayer argues that studies have established that glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is safe.
GENEVA (AP) – Women across Switzerland are walking off the job, burning bras and staging other demonstrations to demand fairer pay, more equality, and an end to sexual harassment and violence – the first such protests in the Alpine country in 28 years. Discontent over sexism and workplace inequality is underpinning the “women’s strike.” Many are also demanding higher pay specifically for domestic workers, teachers and caregivers, jobs typically held more by women.